TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (March 3) confirmed three imported COVID-19 infections, including a Taiwanese woman who may have exposed her friend who picked her up from the airport.
Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced three imported infections on Wednesday, raising the total number of cases in the country to 958. The latest cases include two Taiwanese citizens and a Polish national.
Each had submitted the negative result of a test taken within three days of their flight, and each was sent directly to their residence or quarantine center upon arrival in Taiwan.
Chen stated that case No. 957 is a Taiwanese male in his 20s who had been studying in Canada for an extended period of time. When he returned to Taiwan on Feb. 26, he did not report any symptoms of the disease.
On Feb. 28, he began to develop a runny nose, nasal congestion, and abnormalities with his senses of taste and smell. The health department arranged for him to undergo a coronavirus test, and he was diagnosed on March 3.
The health department has identified 21 contacts in his case, including four passengers who sat in the two rows immediately in front and behind him plus 17 crew members. The passengers have been told to undergo home isolation, while the crew members have only been asked to start self-health monitoring, as they had been wearing appropriate protective equipment.
Case No. 958 is a Taiwanese woman in her 50s who went to visit relatives in the U.S. in November of last year. When she returned to Taiwan on Feb. 26, she did not report any symptoms of the virus.
A friend transported her to an epidemic prevention hotel where she could undergo her quarantine, which appears to be a breach of protocol as only epidemic prevention vehicle drivers are authorized to transport international passengers to their place of quarantine. On March 1, the woman began to experience a sore throat, and the health department arranged for her to undergo a coronavirus test.
She tested positive for COVID-19 on March 3. The health department has identified one contact in her case, her friend, who has been told to commence home isolation.
Case No. 959 is a Polish man in his 40s who came to Taiwan for work on Feb. 18. When he arrived in the country, he did not report any symptoms of the disease.
However, he began to notice abnormalities with his senses of taste and smell on March 1. The health department arranged for him to undergo a coronavirus test that day, and he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 1.
As he did not interact with any other persons during his quarantine phase, the health department has not listed any contacts in his case.
Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 175,556 COVID-19 tests, with 173,384 coming back negative. Out of the 958 officially confirmed cases, 842 were imported, 77 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from a cargo pilot cluster, one is an unresolved case, and one (case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case.
Up until now, nine individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 926 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 23 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.